Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Struggle for Major Healthcare Reform and the Massive Corporate Interests Opposing It



While Obama's heart is clearly in the right place regarding the fight for healthcare reform the ugly painful truth is that the very powerful and notoriously greedy insurance lobby as well as the general healthcare and pharmaceutical industry (not to mention politicians from both political parties who are in the hip pocket of these massive corporate interests) are determined to sabotage a universal healthcare plan by strangling it in its crib. Unless and until the American people actively demand that a truly democratic and just healthcare system is created there is in actuality very little chance that whatever highly compromised plan the President is able to get passed in Congress is seriously going to address the depth and breadth of the real crisis in healthcare as even Obama's former personal doctor insightfully points out in the article below. This is a pivotal moment in the history of the economic system of this country and the healthcare industry is at the very center of it. If we fail to do what is politically necessary on this issue (as we've thus far failed to do with regard to the banks for example) it is absolutely assured that the economic misery that we're currently experiencing will only get far worse--and soon,,,


President Barack Obama's personal doctor for more than two decades is bitterly disappointed by the health care reforms being pushed through Congress at the urging of his former patient.

Barack Obama's health reform plans are a bitter pill for his personal doctor

By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Published: 25 Jul 2009
The Telegraph (London)

President Barack Obama has put the plight of the uninsured at the forefront of his domestic agenda

Dr David Scheiner remains a big fan of the man he treated for 22 years in Chicago. But does not believe the planned overhaul goes far enough to help the poor and uninsured, and will cost too much because of pressure from the health care industry.

The 71-year-old physician, who has treated low income patients for his entire career in the city's Hyde Park neighbourhood, believes Mr Obama favours an NHS-style "single payer" system, but backed away under pressure from the health industry.

"He's a pragmatist, he wants to get something done" Dr Scheiner told The Sunday Telegraph. "But this time he should have pushed back hard against the health care lobby."

He is bitterly disappointed in the way the reforms are being organised and says he was bounced from the invitation list to a White House event because of pressure from the health lobby.

"I was all set to go to an event, I got an email a few days before confirming it, and then suddenly I was told 'there were too many people' coming," he said. "I think they knew I was going to ask an awkward question about the single payer option."
He contends that the reforms winding their way though Congress "could bankrupt us because there are no real cost controls and the big beneficiaries will be private hospitals and insurance companies".

Dr Scheiner argues that Americans have been terrified by the advertising campaigns of what he calls the "medical industrial complex" into believing that they will lose their own health care coverage if a government-run plan is created.
Dr Sheiner's concern is for the 46 million Americans who are uninsured today and who will be covered by a government-backed insurance scheme.

He says the system being created will be far more expensive than it needs to be, as a result of pressure from the health care industry, he says. "The insurance companies will also play a major role in the administration of the new public plan'," he said "and that's going to be disastrous."

"I'm not sure he (Obama) really understands what goes on in primary care," Dr Scheiner said. "He doesn't see all the pain; it's so tragic out here. Obama's wonderful, but on this one I'm not sure if he's getting good advice."

The "single payer" system would cover everyone's health care and eliminate the huge profits of specialists, hospitals and insurers, Dr Scheiner believes. It was doomed from the outset by being labelled "socialised medicine," however. He said that Mr Obama was always "in magnificent health" and during the election campaign last year he vouched for the candidate's "excellent" condition.